I was pretty obsessed with all things Irish when I was a kid. As a redhead, I was asked regularly if I was Irish, which made it seem like a really cool thing to be. I finally visited Ireland a few years ago, and I found it to be a lovely, friendly country that I would really like to revisit sometime. Until then, though, I guess that I'll have to content myself with some great pieces of Irish entertainment.
Set in the late 80s in the west of Ireland, the comedy stars Chris O'Dowd as Sean, the imaginary friend of an "idiot boy" named Martin Moone. It's both absurd and absurdly funny - David Rawle, who was only 12 when the series began, is lovably daffy, and his family and the other supporting characters are just as goofy and charming. The series ended its run after 3 seasons in 2015, so you can binge watch the entirety to your heart's content. Trust me on this one - this show is an absolute delight.
Well, isn't this one out of left field? (Spoiler - no.) Dolores O'Riordan's death earlier this year reminded me just how much I love this band, though, and prompted me to revisit some of their albums for the first time in years. Songs like "Linger," "Dreams," and "Zombie" are rightly considered alt-rock classics, but one of the first CDs that I ever bought was their 2001 release Wake Up and Smell the Coffee, and even if it's not their strongest release, I still love it. It's dreamy, melancholy, and bittersweet, even if some of the lyrics are a bit too on the nose. I've been working my way through all of their albums, some of which I had never listened to in full before, and it's been a really enjoyable experience.
In some ways, Sing Street feels like the spiritual older sibling to Moone Boy. Set in Dublin in the 1980s, it's the story of a hapless teenage boy, Conor, exploring his identity by forming a band with some of the other misfits at his new school. They cycle through genres and personas at a rapid pace, and each new style is accompanied by a spot on pastiche of the genre and a new look for Conor. It's riotously funny at times, but there's an undercurrent of darkness that keeps it grounded - the girl that Conor is in love with, Raphina, is much more complicated than your typical teen love interest, and the darkness in her past (and present, and potentially her future, if we're being realistic) provides a realistic counterpoint to Conor's dreamy idealism.
Bonus - "The Wind That Shakes the Barley" by Dead Can Dance
(The band may not be Irish, but the song is.)
So, have you guys watched Moone Boy or Sing Street, or listened to much of the Cranberries? What are your thoughts? Any other pieces of Irish entertainment that I really need to check out?